Ghana beats Serbia 1-nil

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pretoria - Ghana beat the number 15th ranked Serbia 1-nil in a tense and enthralling Group D match at Loftus Stadium on Sunday.

After a goal-less first half Ghana emerged stronger in the second half. Ghana got their goal through a penalty in the 83rd minute following a hand ball by substitute Zdravko Kuzmanovic. Asamoah Gyan did not make a mistake and put the Ghanaians on the lead.

Ghana created a few chances with Andre Ayew try narrowly missing the net in the 52nd minute. But Serbia only had themselves to blame because they were by far the better side on the day. Serbia was reduced to 10 men after Aleksandar Luckovic was sent off in the 73rd minute for a tackle and had been booked.

Goal keeper Richard Kingson did well to keep the Ghanaians in the game with his spectacular saves in the first half. The introduction of veteran midfielder Stephen Appiah in the 72nd minute helped beef up the Ghanaian midfield.

Nicola Zigic became the first man to be booked with his tackle on Andre Ayew in the 19th minute but forward John Mensar failed to convert the set piece.

Although Ghana lacked the attacking firepower of many African sides, they relied most prominently on striker Kevin Prince Boateng, who failed to capitalise on several occasions. In a stunning display of unity, fans from both South Africa and Ghana sat together at the stadium blowing vuvuzelas and displaying their individual countries' flags.

Ghana, the only African side to get out of the group stage at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, will be happy with the three points going to their next group match.

Previously known as Yugoslavia, Serbia participated at nine FIFA World Cups between 1930 and 2002, and finished runners-up at the UEFA European Championship twice. Then, at Germany 2006, Serbia and Montenegro lost all three matches in a competitive group to fall at the first hurdle.